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How to Prune a Weeping Pear Tree

Updated February 21, 2017

Country Living magazine recommends weeping pear trees for small gardening spaces since the tree's silvery foliage, white blossoms and form offers a contrast to deciduous and evergreen trees. Weeping pear trees grow in hardiness zones 4 to 7, and can reach a height and width of 20 feet. To keep the trees healthy and prevent branches from dragging on the ground, prune a weeping pear each spring.

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  1. Inspect the branches on the weeping pear in the late winter or early spring. Note branches that sustained winter damage or are bent, broken or diseased. Dead branches appear brittle and don't move in the wind.

  2. Clip back the unhealthy and dead wood, trimming it back to the trunk without cutting into the trunk. After every cut, sanitise the pruners by spraying them with disinfectant. Discard all unhealthy wood in the garbage.

  3. Trim the ends of branches that touch the ground. Cut them back to the desired height, anywhere from a couple of inches to a couple of feet off the ground.

  4. Find branches that touch other branches and remove them one at a time by cutting them off at the base.

  5. Thin out the canopy so that air moves through the tree. Work around the tree, removing branches from thick or crowded areas to promote air circulation. Johnson County Master Gardeners suggests leaving two inches of space between branches at the top of the tree.

  6. Leave upward-growing branches. In a naturally weeping tree such as the pear, they eventually reach the greatest upward-growth point and turn down in weeping form.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Disinfectant spray

About the Author

Elton Dunn

A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.

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